Openreach starts cable fix and says 'sorry' for disruption

Former BBC Royal correspondent Michael Cole is among those affected by the loss of a landline phone service near Framlingham.

Former BBC Royal correspondent Michael Cole is among those affected by the loss of a landline phone service near Framlingham. - Credit: Archant

Householders near Framlingham who feared they would be without their landline phones for about a month should have a service sooner than expected.

It is believed as many as 30 homes between Dennington and Owls Green lost their landline phone service early last week, with it potentially taking until September 27 for the line to be fixed.

Locals raised concerns over elderly and frail neighbours who have no other means of communication than their landline.

Since we contacted the BT media team yesterday, September 9, work has now started on repairing the badly damaged cable.

Former BBC Royal correspondent Michael Cole, who is among those affected by the loss of service, told the EADT: "Only when you intervened did BT start to take this lengthy hiatus seriously - even though we pay royally for the privilege of having no phone service."

Michael Pearce, from Owls Green, added: "I would like to thank you and Michael Cole for what you are doing.

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"It's amazing the power of the newspaper and the reporters. It makes a heck of a difference."

A spokesperson for Openreach, which maintains the phone cables that connect homes and businesses, said the cable was "quite badly damaged" so it could be a substantial repair.

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According to residents, a truck hit a telephone pole.

The spokesperson for Openreach said: "We are really sorry for the disruption here. One of our cables has been badly damaged and our engineers have today started repairing it.

"It’s quite a substantial piece of work and we’ll know more in terms of timescales once our engineers have fully assessed the damage.

"We recognise how difficult it is for people living nearby and we’re doing everything we can to get it fixed as quickly and safely as possible.”

Residents had described the previous timescale for the repair of September 27 as "ridiculous".

Mr Pearce, 78, had said he was particularly worried about a frail couple who "cannot afford to be without a landline phone for a month".

"I'm okay," he said. "It's just the people who haven't got proper communications. It's their lifeline."

Mr Cole said he had a mobile phone and email, but the disruption was inconvenient for his business. 

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